Ethnography, Law & Society (CRN #3) at LSA 2018

The Ethnography, Law and Society Collaborative Research Network #3, organized by Andrea Ballestero and Robert Werth, has sponsored a series of panels, roundtables and events that may be of interest to APLA members attending the Law and Society’s Annual Meeting in Toronto from June 7 – 10, 2018.

Thursday, 6/7 8:00-9:45am:
Place, identity and migration
9844: Paper Session
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Parlour Suite 8

The disjuncture between the expected and the empirical varies in studies of law and society. Ethnographic, qualitative, and micro-level analyses tend to magnify this disjuncture through subverting familiar concepts and ideal-types with data derived from extended studies close to the ground. In that vein, the presenters of this panel examine homicide ‘hot spots’ in Canada, illiberal constitutionalism in Cambodia, eviction and the construction of ordinariness in Albania, the eclectic ingredients of national identity in Iraq, and the temporal displacements of audit culture in China. Together, they revel in the unexpected, confounding popular or received ideas to point toward new ways of seeing and understanding law, crime, and politics.

Participants: Samuel Fury Childs Daly, Vincent Harinam, Ruba Al-Hassani and Sara Ross (chair/discussant).

Saturday, 6/9 8:00-9:45am
Exploring ethnographic methods
1305: Professional Development Panel (Roundtable format)
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Kenora

This roundtable brings together a group of experienced ethnographers at different career stages to reflect on the practicalities and possibilities of ethnographic methods for exploring law & legality.

Participants: Sally Engle Merry, Reuben Miller, Andrea Muehlebach, Jessica Cooper and Andrea Ballestero (discussant).

Saturday 6/9 12:45-2:30pm
Technologies of identification, surveillance and prediction in the governance of crime
6731: Paper Session
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Chestnut East

This panel focuses on the deployment, operation and effects of shifting technologies of crime control (e.g., predictive crime modeling, mining of big data, algorithmic risk prediction), exploring how these technologies structure possibilities, create objects & subjects, and foster particular forms of accountability.

Participants: Johanna Romer, Robert Werth, Sarah Brayne, Keith Guzik, Phil Goodman (discussant).

Saturday 6/9 2:45-4:30pm
How legal words make social worlds
8666: Paper Session
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Maple East

Building on insights from semiotics and anthropology, these empirically-based papers explore the multifarious, even self-contradictory, ways in which legal language not only describes, but also creates, effects in the world.

Participants: Anya Bernstein, Jessica Greenberg, Justin Richland, Jeffrey Kahn, Jothie Rajah (discussant)

Saturday 6/9 6:45-7:45
CRN business meeting
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Carleton

Where you can expect friendly and generative discussion about past, present and future CRN activities.

Saturday 6/9 8:15pm – onward
CRN social event: food, drinks, conversation & camaraderie
Location: Earls Kitchen + Bar (150 King Street West, Unit 100, Toronto M5H 1J9)

Sunday 6/10 8:00-9:45am
Disorderly conduct: Law and ambivalence
9841: Paper Session
Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Parlour Suite 1

The predictability afforded by the institutionalization of legal processes and norms should not elide the ways law shapes – and is shaped by – disorder, uncertainty and contradiction. The papers of this panel examine disputes about free religious practice in the U. S., the formation of legal consciousness in China, the doubts of Indian sex workers, the impacts of cash transfers on women in Argentina and the gendered disjuncture between law and ‘law on the ground’ with a French vice squad.

Participants: Liisa Kohonen, Melisa Handl, Gwenaelle Mainsant, Jenna Reinbold, Andrea Ballestero (chair)

Sunday 6/10 10:00-11:45am
Taking the law into their own hands: Everyday legal actors and artifacts
9843: Paper Session Sheraton Centre Toronto Room: Yorkville East

The presenters of this panel actively explore the striking diversity and contingency of legal practices, objects and identities. Their papers-on supply chain managers, public notary under civil law systems, the role of documents in conservation efforts, the legal tactics of property title-seeking residents in a Bolivian city, and juvenile correctional education in Japan and Spain chart the legal dimension as a multifaceted plane emergent in the quotidian efforts and aspirations of people who might not (always) see themselves as engaged in legal work.

Participants: Jerome Pistola, Safia Kherbouche, Jen Telesca, Sergio Latorre, Jorge Derpic, Andrea Ballestero (chair)

Image Credit: “Shades: Toronto Skyline” by Wallace Freitas was cropped for use on this website’s homepage in conjunction with this post. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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